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Which 3DS Fire Emblem game should I play first? (New to the series)

Which Fire Emblem game should I play first?

  • Awakening

    Votes: 440 85.6%
  • Fates - Birthright

    Votes: 10 1.9%
  • Fates - Conquest

    Votes: 11 2.1%
  • Fates - Revelation

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Echoes

    Votes: 52 10.1%

  • Total voters
    514
Oct 27, 2017
8,578
#51
So Orb.

What are you looking for in a game. Story or gameplay? (Obviously both would be best, but just trying to help out with more details).

I can say that these games have fantastic soundtracks at least.
 
Oct 27, 2017
969
#54
Awakening it's an okay starting point I guess. Not the best one, but it's playable.
Fates it's terrible and not worth your time.

Tbh I would skip the 3ds Games I go directly to the GBA and GC/Wii ones.
If you like then, then give older ones a chance.
 
Oct 27, 2017
12,047
#55
Awakening has better characters. They're one-note joke characters, mind, but I found them fun enough.

Conquest's (I dunno about Birthright) story is trash but the gameplay and maps are legit the best in the series.

Echoes is fine but it's the worst of the three. It's an excessively faithful remake of an old famicom game, when the series was still trying to nail the gameplay, and does virtually nothing to improve on the outdated gameplay aspects. The main reason some people champion it is because it's a callback to a time when FE was less "anime," and fair enough I guess.
Shadows of Valentia is more than just that, given that while it is super-faithful to Gaiden's ideas, the gameplay concepts were given a number of modern touches, from the handling of the dungeons and town exploration to the introduction of a mechanic that rewinds actions and whole turns. It does a lot of things that are mechanically unique for Fire Emblem, even if the map designs are basically the same as they were in 1992.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,647
#56
Either Awakening or Birthright. But Birthright story is so bad it would only leave bad impression, so go Awakening.

Haven’t played it yet, but I read that Echoes are good.

Fates isn't bad guys...
Cmon its a great game....
Birthright have better gameplay than Awakening, but the writing is so bad I feel embarassed reading it, ended up never finishing it. And I’m someone who have really low standard for video game story/writing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,339
#57
Awakening is perfect. Like Final Fantasy IX, it was made as an "end of an era" style game that celebrated the whole series. Fates feels like a response to Awakening's surprise success that could have been a good idea, but tried to please too many people and ended up feeling half-baked. Echoes is the passion project remake of a black sheep game in the series. The original was polarizing like Zelda II or Castlevania II and the remake was probably too faithful gameplay wise. Every other part is beautiful.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,017
Denmark
#58
Awakening was made to be a best-of collection of old Fire Emblem mechanics and tropes. It's also a fairly forgiving Fire Emblem game, especially on Normal difficulty.

This makes it, in my opinion, the best newcomer Fire Emblem game. You get a little taste of what the series as a whole is, but the game stands alone just fine. It is technically a direct sequel to Marth's games, but it will fill you in on what you need to know.
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,001
#59
Shadows of Valentia is more than just that, given that while it is super-faithful to Gaiden's ideas, the gameplay concepts were given a number of modern touches, from the handling of the dungeons and town exploration to the introduction of a mechanic that rewinds actions and whole turns. It does a lot of things that are mechanically unique for Fire Emblem, even if the map designs are basically the same as they were in 1992.
None of the changes improved it though.

The game is faithful where it counts, which is the basic gameplay and maps, and Gaiden is near-universally derided as the worst game in the series when it comes to that. Gaiden had the worst maps in possibly any SRPG ever created, and they're basically ported over 1:1. The gameplay is as abysmal as it was on the Famicom, but I guess there's dungeons now, so yay?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,584
#60
Awakening is pretty much the perfect way to jump into the series, so I would recommend going for that. Fates is really something you'll have to figure out for yourself if you'll like or not. Echoes is kind of its own thing, being an update of a fairly old Famicom game, and one that was considered something of a black sheep at that.

If you do end up liking the series, consider the Tellius games on GC (Path of Radiance) and Wii (Radiant Dawn). They're a leap up from the 3DS games, but they're getting up there in price.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,591
#61
Hottest take on Birthright... But I definitely thought Conquest was great and the story wasn't as bad as people say it is even if it's not great. Fates is indeed worth playing and honestly I don't care that much about story with FE (although Path of Radiance proves FE can be fantastic at it when it wants to be) because the gameplay is always very fun and music is usually good too.
Fates, collectively, is the greatest Fire Emblem entry of all time. The story in Birthright is great and the story in Conquest is great too aside from the ridiculous plot-driver. All three games have support conversations that are even better at breathing life into the characters than Awakening, and I cried at the ending of all three.

Prove me wrong! :P
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,567
#62
I hadn’t thought terribly much about it, but it seems like Classic mode is the way the game is intended to be played so I’ll start with that unless FE fans suggest otherwise.
I'd definitely recommend trying the Classic mode. Permadeath adds an extra layer to the game and makes you consider your moves more carefully as you're afraid of losing characters you're attached to.
As for the difficulty, I'm not the best at strategy games so I find Normal to offer a decent challenge. I know in Fates you can lower the difficulty during the game if you're finding it too hard but you can't raise it. I can't remember if Awakening let you do that though.
 

HylianSeven

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,592
#63
Awakening. It's the closest to a traditional FE, and while Fates Conquest is even closer without the open map, it's got a lot of things that are unlike the rest of the series and not really a good place to start.

Echoes is a remake of the worst game in the series, however the remake is among the best in the series. However both games are easily the weirdest FE games, and most definitely are NOT a good place to start.

I think Fates Conquest might not be a bad second game though.
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,001
#64
Fates, collectively, is the greatest Fire Emblem entry of all time. The story in Birthright is great and the story in Conquest is great too aside from the ridiculous plot-driver. All three games have support conversations that are just as good as Awakening, if not better, and I cried at the ending of all three.

Prove me wrong! :P
I love Fates.

But Fates' story and writing is about as good as Echoes' maps.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,591
#65
I love Fates.

But Fates' story and writing is about as good as Echoes' maps.
But Echoes has awful maps :P.

To have a serious conversation, I always forget the reasons why people attack Fates' story. Revelations was literally written by the Senran Kagura writer. And there is one major thing in particular that makes Conquest's plot a little stupid. But what is wrong with Birthright's story? I loved it. The characters are great, the conflict was painful, and I was bawling my eyes out at the two key character deaths (especially "the duel").
 
Nov 2, 2017
361
#66
I hadn’t thought terribly much about it, but it seems like Classic mode is the way the game is intended to be played so I’ll start with that unless FE fans suggest otherwise.
Most people play FE with permadeath and restarting if they really fuck up/get unlucky. No permadeath means all strategy goes out the window and you can just lemmings rush every map without consequence.

And ignore anyone talking shit about Fates, it's not like Awakening's story is much better and at least Fates has competent (or fantastic in Conquest's case) gameplay
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,001
#67
But Echoes has awful maps :P.

To have a serious conversation, I always forget the reasons why people attack Fates' story. Revelations was literally written by the Senran Kagura writer. And there is one major thing in particular that makes Conquest's plot stupid. But what is wrong with Birthright's story? I loved it. The characters are great, the conflict was painful, and I was bawling my eyes out at the two key character deaths.
I can't speak to Birthright, but Conquest had that weird thing where after every battle in the first half Corrin would go on some long monologue about how proud they were that their band of bloodthirsty psychopaths (like holy cow half the characters are serial killers) merely wounded all the bad guys, for some reason. And there was that angsty guy with a pineapple head. And the entire plot hinged on everybody not realizing that the obviously evil king was evil.

I did like how cartoonishly evil Iago was though. He was Conquest's Emperor Palpatine. Iago just had loads of fun being evil, I wish I could've played as him. Also the bodybuilder lady was fun.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,416
Georgia, US
#68
Just play Awakening & Echoes.

Awakening will give you a balance of gameplay/story while Echoes is a bit stronger on the story presentation, IMO, with the gameplay(maps) being a little weaker. However, Echoes has dungeon crawling/quests that will most likely carry over to Three Houses so play it to see how you like the mechanic.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,591
#70
I can't speak to Birthright, but Conquest had that weird thing where after every battle in the first half Corrin would go on some long monologue about how proud they were that their band of bloodthirsty psychopaths (like holy cow half the characters are serial killers) merely wounded all the bad guys, for some reason. And there was that angsty guy with a pineapple head. And the entire plot hinged on everybody not realizing that the obviously evil king was evil.

I did like how cartoonishly evil Iago was though. He was Conquest's Emperor Palpatine. Iago just had loads of fun being evil, I wish I could've played as him. Also the bodybuilder lady was fun.
Yes, that is the fatal flaw of Conquest's plot. It is fair to opine that it ruins the whole thing, because it kind of does (though I would argue it doesn't make the two suicides near the end any less shocking and poignant). But the characters are just as great and well-realized as their Hoshidan counterparts; from the ones who are decent people just trying to survive in an oppressive and militaristic regime, to those who are somehow both warm and friendly to those they know and absolutely psychotic killers to everyone else.

Iago and Hans(?) are powerfully detestable villains. King Garon is Donald Trump if he were actually insane. And you can't not love Arthur!




You should give Birthright a try. It's the "standard" FE plot arc, but with the added emotional intensity of being forced to fight the only family you've ever known. And the characters are just as fleshed-out, quirky and lovable as Awakening, if not more. Hitting the credits of a Fire Emblem game is always an emotional experience but when I got to the end of Birthright and that beautiful vocal track kicked in I was absolutely bawling. I loved every moment of that game so much.
 
Oct 27, 2017
12,047
#71
None of the changes improved it though.

The game is faithful where it counts, which is the basic gameplay and maps, and Gaiden is near-universally derided as the worst game in the series when it comes to that. Gaiden had the worst maps in possibly any SRPG ever created, and they're basically ported over 1:1. The gameplay is as abysmal as it was on the Famicom, but I guess there's dungeons now, so yay?
Maybe in your mind.

The devs wanted to remain faithful to what Gaiden is, and they succeeded in that. That meant no weapon triangle (or even axes), magic mechanics that are unlike any other game in the series, and doubling down on the dungeon and town elements that no other FE has ever attempted. Ideas that were never bad in concept and certainly aren't a detriment to SoV. If what you want is a more traditional FE, then sure, this game isn't for you, but but Gaiden was an unusual game in the franchise, particularly for its day, and remaking it by stripping out everything that made the original what it was would be a disservice to it.

Personally, I found the game fun. The map designs aren't the best in the series, no, I appreciate it for its willingness to do things differently, and largely succeed, even if there are elements to it that will make certain segments of the FE fandom screech. (But nothing IS does these days will please the entire fanbase anyway.)
 
Nov 5, 2017
1,303
#73
I think a newcomer would enjoy all of these games, but definitely go for Awakening. It’s not nearly as polarizing as Fates or Echoes, though major issues with map design, objectives, class balance, and enemy scaling keep it from being my favorite.

Fates Birthright is a refined version of Awakening mechanically, so Awakening will feel like a small downgrade if you play it after any Fates campaign.

Fates Conquest has some of the best map design in the series and it’s just so tightly balanced. The story is disappointing, but the gameplay makes it my favorite.

I would save Echoes for last. It’s a remake of Gaiden and does move the series forward in terms of production values and the Turnwheel mechanic. Unfortunately, it brings along the bad elements of Gaiden which greatly hampers the gameplay experience. It’s a badly designed game, but I still enjoyed it.
 
Last edited:
May 6, 2018
125
#74
Awakening is a great starting point. The maps aren't good, but the story is serviceable and the characters are fun and likable (if a little tropey). Introduced the pair up mechanic. An interesting idea but waaaaay too broken in this iteration. If you're a newcomer you probably won't notice or be bothered by this, especially if you're playing on normal.

Skip fates except for conquest. It's story is a trainwreck of hilarious proportions and the character designs suck, but its gameplay is arguably the best in the series. Refined the pair mechanic into something good, enemies, can pair up, amazing map designs and an interesting take on how weapons work.

I hate echoes with a passion, so I'd recommend skipping it. It has fantastic character designs and presentation value, but that's where the good things end. Gameplay is just plain awful. Many of the maps are so similar they might as well be reused, that's even ignoring just how badly designed they are. I hope you like seeing cantors, because they sure like seeing you. The amount of classes is pitiful and it makes situations even more rock paper scissors than normal, and that's despite the weapon triangle being gone. Retreat and infinite warp break the game even more than awakening pair up ever dreamed it could. The story at least tries to be interesting but it botches and fumbles its themes every chance it gets. Oh, and don't get too attached to Celica. She will disappoint you. She accomplishes nothing. She is just wasted potential. She is worthless.
 
Apr 25, 2018
127
#76
But Echoes has awful maps :P.

To have a serious conversation, I always forget the reasons why people attack Fates' story. Revelations was literally written by the Senran Kagura writer. And there is one major thing in particular that makes Conquest's plot a little stupid. But what is wrong with Birthright's story? I loved it. The characters are great, the conflict was painful, and I was bawling my eyes out at the two key character deaths (especially "the duel").
Birthright's story is ehhh it's not great but as bad as Conquest's plot. The first half is a bit dumb considering Ryoma and Takumi go missing one chapter after choosing Hoshido, The whole traitor subplot is awfully tacky. Ryoma somehow manages to go uncover despite being the next line to rule and the crown of his current. Hoshido somehow manages to fight a losing war against Nohr for most of it. Wolfskin chapter is really stupid.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,591
#77
Birthright's story is ehhh it's not great but as bad as Conquest's plot. The first half is a bit dumb considering Ryoma and Takumi go missing one chapter after choosing Hoshido, The whole traitor subplot is awfully tacky. Ryoma somehow manages to go uncover despite being the next line to rule and the crown of his current. Hoshido somehow manages to fight a losing war against Nohr for most of it. Wolfskin chapter is really stupid.
I mean, I'm assuming that once he takes off the lobster suit he's a little harder to spot :P. I'll admit I don't remember every detail of the plot anymore though. There could definitely be some silliness there. But I still loved it.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,017
Denmark
#80
I mean, I'm assuming that once he takes off the lobster suit he's a little harder to spot :P. I'll admit I don't remember every detail of the plot anymore though. There could definitely be some silliness there. But I still loved it.
The best part of it being Ryoma going undercover is that both of his retainers are ninjas. Why not send Kaizo or Kagero instead to do sneaky undercover stuff? It's their whole thing, they're ninjas, after all.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,432
New York
#81
Fates is an enjoyable enough game that I think most any fan of the series should play it for the gameplay, but yeah, there's no shortage of complaints to be had with its writing. Birthright and especially Revelations have some pretty mehh to absolutely shit maps, though the core gameplay is a marked improvement over Awakening and Conquest is really strong in that department with some of the series best maps. But then the story in all three routes, especially Conquest and Revelations, are really bad, insultingly so, to say the least. Characters aren't much better either with most Supports being completely brain dead and devoid of any real substance. For the most part though it can be ignored, especially in Birthright which has a mostly inoffensive plot, just not all that well told or written, which is a real shame as most FEs at least have a marginally interesting and OK plot and characters to follow.

Conquest has the best/most challenging gameplay, but the absolute worst plot that will most likely test your will to care or even continue at times. While Birthright is the most inoffensive and enjoyable one overall, even if it's not as diverse or challenging gameplay wise. Revelations though is just total, absolute shit with no real redeemable aspect at all. It has some truly fucking horrible maps and a plot that is frustratingly dumb, even if it's not as aggravating as Conquest's. Plus you can only purchase it as an add on to one of the other base routes, where as you can at least choose to only buy Birthright or Conquest and not have to deal with anything else if you don't want to.

Like I don't regret buying and playing all three, the core gameplay is strong enough to carry the experience and make me not feel like I wasted my time or money. But man there's just so much dumb shit in that game it's almost impressive.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,591
#82
The best part of it being Ryoma going undercover is that both of his retainers are ninjas. Why not send Kaizo or Kagero instead to do sneaky undercover stuff? It's their whole thing, they're ninjas, after all.
Because he's a hands-on kinda leader? :P
Maybe his ninjas disguised him as a bush or something, lol.
 
Oct 25, 2017
793
#83
Awakening is the best game to introduce yourself to the series. Echoes would be worth a play through after.

I can’t recommend fates though, I’m just not a fan
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,573
#84
I personally think Awakening is a subpar Fire Emblem game that also started a terrible direction for the series (yes I know it "saves" the franchise, but that doesn't excuse how it introduces bad fan service to the series). For all the shit people gives Fates, at least one of them somehow manages to be a masterpiece in the gameplay department (Conquest). Newcomer or not, I wouldn't ever recommend Awakening as a Fire Emblem game. Do yourself a favor and start with another Fire Emblem not on 3DS instead, like the FE7 on GBA, or FE9 on GC. If 3DS is your only option for system, just play Conquest and skip the rest.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,606
#85
I maintain that Conquest is the only vaguely decent story in Fates. Birthright is just milquetoast through and through without anything interesting going on while Rev is a mess, a waste of Fates's potential, and actively drags down the other two routes.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,481
Omni
#86
Do what I did and get yourself and play Awakening - was my first entry to the series and love it!


I bought Echoes last week and will play it soon.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
657
#87
You should go in the order in which you made the poll. Awakening first, then Birthright, Conquest, Revelation (my favorite of the 3 paths), and lastly Echoes.
 
Oct 27, 2017
12,047
#88
I personally think Awakening is a subpar Fire Emblem game that also started a terrible direction for the series (yes I know it "saves" the franchise, but that doesn't excuse how it introduces bad fan service to the series). For all the shit people gives Fates, at least one of them somehow manages to be a masterpiece in the gameplay department (Conquest). Newcomer or not, I wouldn't ever recommend Awakening as a Fire Emblem game. Do yourself a favor and start with another Fire Emblem not on 3DS instead, like the FE7 on GBA, or FE9 on GC. If 3DS is your only option for system, just play Conquest and skip the rest.
I'd say that this is terrible advice. You're either recommending the most challenging branch of Fates with arguably the worst story (Conquest) to a newcomer, or games that predated Awakening and don't have the quality of life features that make the modern entries more appealing to so many people. A lot of modern fans were (or would have been) scared off by the mandatory permadeath alone.

Like it or not, Awakening is currently the best entry point for newcomers, just in terms of being a more accessible game with a flawed but interesting and relatively competent story, and a structure that's more akin to other FE titles than Shadows of Valentia.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,578
#89
If I’m being honest. Playing all three routes in Fates isn’t worth it. You’ll be burnout after one. And revelations is horrible in respecting the players time.

I recommend only Conquest. The story differences for each game’s isn’t worth it and revelations playoff is dumb, but at least it had a cool final boss. Tho the DLC “final” battle was cooler.
 
Oct 27, 2017
781
#90
Awakening or Echoes. Skip Fates entirely because it is the furthest example of what the series is really like, although it remains to be seen if that's the direction Nintendo and IS want to take the series.
It probably is
 
Oct 27, 2017
781
#92
Someone didn't watch the Three Houses trailer.
It looks like it takes place in some kind of school setting right? I saw the trailer but haven't followed up on it. School setting doesn't really scream FE to me haha. Screams, every other cliche anime trope incoming. I'm hoping I'm way off base though, because the armies fighting around the battles looks fantastic, among other things.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,440
#93
Awakening is the right answer, without a doubt.

Echoes is a fun JRPG with an SRPG battle system, whereas the rest of the series are SRPGs.

Fates ... no comment
 
Oct 27, 2017
12,047
#94
It looks like it takes place in some kind of school setting right? I saw the trailer but haven't followed up on it. School setting doesn't really scream FE to me haha. Screams, every other cliche anime trope incoming. I'm hoping I'm way off base though, because the armies fighting around the battles looks fantastic, among other things.
Military academies are a thing that exist.

It seems that Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude at least start off as students there before getting pulled into whatever the core conflict is. That doesn't mean that this is going to be Fire Emblem: Persona in any way.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,573
#95
I'd say that this is terrible advice. You're either recommending the most challenging branch of Fates with arguably the worst story (Conquest) to a newcomer, or games that predated Awakening and don't have the quality of life features that make the modern entries more appealing to so many people. A lot of modern fans were (or would have been) scared off by the mandatory permadeath alone.

Like it or not, Awakening is currently the best entry point for newcomers, just in terms of being a more accessible game with a flawed but interesting and relatively competent story, and a structure that's more akin to other FE titles than Shadows of Valentia.
I dont buy into the notion that being a newcomer means they should just play an easier or more accessible game. Everybody is a newcomer at some point. Every game (unless direct sequel) in this series is designed so that anybody new to it can play it as they are standalone. Yeah old games have fixed permadeath, but it can't be denied that Fire Emblem is fundamentally designed around it, and it's not like FE7 or 9 are that difficult. They start fairly easy and ease beginners in well.

Edit: quality of life improvements are nice but know what's nicer? Actual map and level and objectives design. New games don't obselete older ones, as they have various differences in their gameplay design.
 
Oct 27, 2017
12,047
#97
I dont buy into the notion that being a newcomer means they should just play an easier or more accessible game. Everybody is a newcomer at some point. Every game (unless direct sequel) in this series is designed so that anybody new to it can play it as they are standalone. Yeah old games have fixed permadeath, but it can't be denied that Fire Emblem is fundamentally designed around it, and it's not like FE7 or 9 are that difficult. They start fairly easy and ease beginners in well.
That honestly doesn't matter. I have friends that stayed away from even the idea of playing Fire Emblem because permadeath mechanics give them anxiety. One friend of mine started playing Fire Emblem with Heroes. I gave her a copy of Awakening, and she enjoyed it. If I had given her Blazing Blade or Path of Radiance, she probably wouldn't have even started them.

If people feel comfortable enough to take the challenge, they can switch from Casual to Classic mode, with or without upping the difficulty. The point is, modern FE games give players options that make the very idea of playing them more palatable to more people. And if that insults you in some way, then tough luck, my dude. Not everyone enjoys jumping into the deep end without a life vest.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,573
#98
That honestly doesn't matter. I have friends that stayed away from even the idea of playing Fire Emblem because permadeath mechanics give them anxiety. One friend of mine started playing Fire Emblem with Heroes. I gave her a copy of Awakening, and she enjoyed it. If I had given her Blazing Blade or Path of Radiance, she probably wouldn't have even started them.

If people feel comfortable enough to take the challenge, they can switch from Casual to Classic mode, with or without upping the difficulty. The point is, modern FE games give players options that make the very idea of playing them more palatable to more people. And if that insults you in some way, then tough luck, my dude. Not everyone enjoys jumping into the deep end without a life vest.
I understand that people who hated permadeath, the newer games are certainly more welcoming to them. I'm mainly referring to people who are indifferent. People who just want good games. I don't condemn casual mode, it certainly has its place. I was just arguing that 7 and 9 are perfectly acceptable/good places to get into the series, so long as they can deal with permadeath.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,762
#99
That honestly doesn't matter. I have friends that stayed away from even the idea of playing Fire Emblem because permadeath mechanics give them anxiety. One friend of mine started playing Fire Emblem with Heroes. I gave her a copy of Awakening, and she enjoyed it. If I had given her Blazing Blade or Path of Radiance, she probably wouldn't have even started them.

If people feel comfortable enough to take the challenge, they can switch from Casual to Classic mode, with or without upping the difficulty. The point is, modern FE games give players options that make the very idea of playing them more palatable to more people. And if that insults you in some way, then tough luck, my dude. Not everyone enjoys jumping into the deep end without a life vest.
What you're saying and what he's saying aren't contradictory.

There's no question that Casual Mode provides enormous accessibility to the franchise for people who would otherwise be intimidated, but for those who aren't, entries from FE7 onward are viable starting points, and have exceptional tutorials designed for newcomers.
 
Nov 5, 2017
1,303
I personally think Awakening is a subpar Fire Emblem game that also started a terrible direction for the series (yes I know it "saves" the franchise, but that doesn't excuse how it introduces bad fan service to the series). For all the shit people gives Fates, at least one of them somehow manages to be a masterpiece in the gameplay department (Conquest). Newcomer or not, I wouldn't ever recommend Awakening as a Fire Emblem game. Do yourself a favor and start with another Fire Emblem not on 3DS instead, like the FE7 on GBA, or FE9 on GC. If 3DS is your only option for system, just play Conquest and skip the rest.
Three Houses seems to be pulling back on the fan service. Awakening has issues, but I think the accessibility options are a positive addition to the series. The experience is fine for a first-timer, since it will be easier for them to look past the design flaws. After Awakening, they can play other games in the series.

Those other games you listed are good starting points, too. The GBA entries aged very well, and FE9 and 10 still play fine.

Echoes is the only FE game that I don't revisit because of how poorly it plays.